BBB's BLS-110 Sniper is a very well made front light with a good range of output settings and burn times, so it's a shame that the bracket doesn't achieve the same level of engineering. Thankfully, it's far from a deal breaker.
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With a maximum output of 1200 lumen, this light is never going to leave you underpowered when out in the lanes. And to be fair, the way the Sniper's lens chucks out the light you're going to be absolutely motoring or on some seriously technical terrain to even need half of that.
You get four modes with the BBB:
Lux @10m Lumen Burn time
105 1200 1.5hrs
80 950 2.3hrs
60 750 3.4hrs
30 380 7.8hrs
On main roads with white lines and cats-eyes and stuff, the bottom setting is more than adequate to see by up until about 25mph. If you're out in the countryside or going faster, then settling for the 750-lumen setting offers plenty of light and, as you can see, offers plenty of battery life to get a decent ride in.
The great thing is that the BBB comes with a remote control, a simple button that plugs into the bottom of the light. The cable is long enough to run along the handlebar and I had it attached close to the hoods; if this was a longterm setup I'd run the cable under the bar tape.
Being able to tweak how much light you need just with the tap of the thumb and not having to take your hands off the bar is a neat solution. You do have to scroll through the modes from high to low before going back to high again, but it is really quick and easy to do.
For a two-LED side-by-side setup the BBB has actually quite a narrow beam compared with, say, the Hope R2i. This gives it quite a round spotlight kind of appearance so I angled it down quite a bit lower than the Hope and my previous Exposure Strada (you can read Mat's review of the Exposure Strada Mk6 here) to avoid any confrontation with oncoming drivers. It still gave an excellent pool of light out in front of me to pick out road defects and the like with a spread of light further afield to get the lay of the land.
You'll have noticed that there is no flashing or strobe option on the BBB which, for a main light, I'm quite happy with – especially as you have to scroll through the modes. There is nothing worse than having to spend a few seconds in the dark with a disco light while trying to get to a higher setting.
Before I started this job I was always a big investor in lights. For me, a large portion of my riding was done after work and for a fair few months of the year that would be in the dark. When commuting or out for a training ride I wanted a light that would stand up to the elements, offer decent burn times but also a good beam pattern. Basically, I wanted a useable front light rather than a glorified torch; something that wouldn't let me down regardless what I put it through. This is why I'm impressed with the Sniper. Yes £189.95 is a lot of money to spend on a light, but if riding in the dark is something you take seriously then you aren't going to be disappointed with the BBB.
The machined aluminium alloy body gives the whole unit a really solid feel and the gold anodised front lens cap adds to the look of quality. Dealing with the rain isn't a problem either: a blast from the shower showed no issues, and one ride in a full-on deluge didn't bother it in the slightest. I've dropped it on the patio a fair few times to see how it stands up to crash damage, and apart from a few scuffs and scratches there is nothing to report. This is one very well built light.
A glowing report then for the Sniper. Well yes, for the light itself, but when it comes to the bracket I'm less impressed. With Hope or Exposure lights you get a top notch, secure clamp that is machined out of aluminium. If I'm going to fit a light to my bike for a six-month period, I don't want movement. The BBB's bracket is a plastic mount that offers plenty of adjustment laterally until you fully tighten the hex bolt to keep everything in place. What annoys me though, is that the tolerances between the light and the bracket aren't that tight. This allows the light to vibrate on the mount; it's secure and won't go anywhere, but the light on the road is constantly flickering which is really irritating.
It's such a shame considering the quality of the light unit itself, and it's a real dig when it comes to value too. As I said, the Hope has a beautifully CNC machined bracket that holds the light unbelievably secure – even if you crash it isn't going anywhere – and it's a smidge cheaper than the Sniper.
The bracket here feels almost like an afterthought, and while it wouldn't deter me from buying the light, it is something I'd like to see modified in the future.
On the whole, the BBB Sniper is a lovely bit of kit, and if you take your night riding seriously it's a light that needs to be considered.
A solid, well made light that performs out on the road, though vibration from the bracket is annoying
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BBB BLS-110 Sniper
Size tested: 1200 Lumens
Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
BBB says: "A high end compact light with a strong beam for installation on the handlebar. The internal battery makes this light compact and easy to install on both road bike and mountainbike. The high and bright beam makes the Sniper ideal for use in very dark conditions. Remote control included for easy switching between different modes while keeping both hands at the handlebar."
I like the BBB, it's a very well made unit with a decent beam pattern and good burn times.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
BBB lists the following:
1200 Lumen 2x XML-U2 CREE LED.
4 Modes: Super beam, high beam, standard beam, and low beam.
Samsung lithium ion internal battery pack (2 x 18650, 2600mAh, 7.4V).
Centermount handlebar bracket included (BLS-98).
Remote switch included, 350 mm cable length.
PowerConverter USB Charger included (BLS-92).
Micro-USB cable included.
Weight: 210 grams.
Size light: 115 x 43 x 30 mm.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The light puts out a quality beam pattern with good burn times
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
The overall build quality.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
The vibration through the clamp.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
I really like the BBB Sniper. It's well made, has great burn times and a decent beam pattern, the only let-down being the bracket.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.